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University of Southern California

The IJPC Journal, Volume 1 - Fall 2009

Moral Dilemmas of an Immoral Nation: Gender, Sexuality, and Journalism in Page 3

Radhika Parameswaran

Abstract


Venturing into the uncharted territory of journalismís representations in India, this paper examines portrayals of the soft news beatís woman reporter in Madhur Bhandarkarís award-winning 2005 film Page 3: The Inside Story. The paper begins by situating the film within the economic contexts of Indian journalismís aggressive embrace of market models of news readership and the rise of the multiplex genre in the Indian film industry. Taking a deconstructive approach that draws from postcolonial and feminist studies, as well as research on journalismís images in popular culture in the United States, the paper then analyzes the symbolic meanings of gender, nation, journalism, and sexuality that arise in relation to reporter Madhavi Sharmaís personal and professional identities. Although Page 3 offers a compelling critique of both upwardly mobile readersí shallow consumerism and the Indian newspaper industryís misguided market priorities, its patriarchal subtext of middle class morality, female sexuality, and male superiority undermines its progressive potential.

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